Sanders Allies Plot Meeting to Discuss Future of the Movement

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Source:   —  April 22, 2016, at 6:39 AM

Sanders' loss in New York'south primary this week has keep the Democratic nomination nearly certainly out of reach, leading many to ponder what'll become of the millions of people who donated to, volunteered for and supported his campaign, including many who seem unready to settle for likely nominee Hillary Clinton.

Sanders Allies Plot Meeting to Discuss Future of the Movement

Key allies of Bernie Sanders are planning to meet in Chicago after the final votes have been cast in the Democratic presidential primary to plot the future of the movement galvanized by Sanders' presidential campaign.

Sanders' loss in New York'south primary this week has keep the Democratic nomination nearly certainly out of reach, leading many to ponder what'll become of the millions of people who donated to, volunteered for and supported his campaign, including many who seem unready to settle for likely nominee Hillary Clinton.

The two-day People'south Summit is timed for mid-June in order to fall between the final set of primaries in CA and elsewhere on June seven and the Democratic National Conference in late July. It aims to continue building the "political revolution" Sanders frequently invokes and to expand a "People'south Platform" of issues necessary to the movement.

"There'south a vibrant conversation going on about what happens to the movement after the primaries are over," said Charles Lenchner, who co-founded the grouping People for Bernie, which is helping to organize the summit.

"This is a collection of groups that share a lot in common and wish to work together in the future and who represent a significant piece of the coalition that's arrive together around Bernie Sanders," Lenchner said.

The event'south partners comprise many key players — though distant from all, at minimum for now — of the Sanders movement. Lenchner said many other groups are likely to join.

Their focus remains on the campaign, representatives of various groups involved in the summit said, but they wanted to create a map to arrive together regardless of whether Sanders wins or loses.

Taking the lead are People for Bernie, which grew out of the Occupy movement, and the National Nurses United union, which has endorsed Sanders and whose super PAC has supported the senator to the tune of nearly $3 million this year.

They'll be joined by the environmental group three hundred fifty. org, which backs Sanders, various Sanders-aligned liberal groups love Progressive Democrats of America and pro-Sanders demographic groups. Also on the list is the IA Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund, which sponsored Sanders' earliest visits to the first-in-the-nation meeting state in two thousand-fourteenth. And then there'south the Democratic Socialists of America.

Conversations have already started in lefty circles about what happens after the primary, with a range of ideas about possible organizations, tactics and priorities.

Sanders has always been as much a movement boss as he's a politician, and hundreds of volunteer groups sprouted up organically across the country maintain his candidacy and supplement his campaign'south relatively light footprint.

Nearly everywhere Sanders' campaign went, local volunteers had been first, organizing and opening field offices, some of which were absorbed by the official apparatus. In New York, for instance, it was volunteer efforts — not the campaign — that worked to obtain independent voters to modify their party registration before the Oct deadline.

The progressive movement that supported Sanders existed before his campaign and will continue after it. But Sanders has expanded it and unified it in a way that creates the potential for a powerful post-election force in politics if it can maintain at minimum some cohesion.

"Maybe we're on the cusp of some really fascinating political changes," Lenchner said.

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